PHOENIX (October 9, 2018) – Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) has reached a settlement agreement with Gro-Well Brands Inc. d/b/a Western Organics Inc. after claims of air quality violations at the Gro-Well Brands Inc. Phoenix facility between October 2017 and April 2018. Gro-Well is the region’s largest green, wood and food waste recycler.
Gro-Well Brands Inc. received a fine of $87,537 in the settlement which includes $5,000 cash payment, $78,637 credit for a supplemental environmental project (SEP) and $3,900 credit for training 39 employees on Maricopa County dust control rules. An SEP is an environmentally beneficial project a respondent agrees to undertake in settlement of an enforcement action that the respondent is not otherwise legally required to perform.
Gro-Well Brands Inc. agreed to provide top soil and expertise to two 501(c)3 organizations. The Orchard Community Learning Center operates space gardens in conjunction with the Roosevelt School District and other local non-profits in South Phoenix. The Tiger Mountain Foundation operates local urban gardens in Phoenix.
Gro-Well’s SEP will assist these organizations in creating a local food supply for the residents and significantly reduce emissions of dust and carbons in their respective communities. Gro-Well’s participation will enhance the proliferation of these gardens in the community by providing the necessary top soil for the gardens.
“The timing of this action became a great opportunity for the Incubator Farm at Spaces of Opportunity,” said John Wann, CEO/Director of the Orchard Community Learning Center and the Incubator Farm Director at Spaces of Opportunity. “We are bringing life to the soil on 19 acres of land that has laid vacant for over 35 years and that is now producing organically grown food for the south Phoenix community. We are extremely grateful to Gro-Well and the Maricopa County Air Quality Department for their collaboration and contribution to our efforts."
There were a total of 15 separate violations by Gro-Well Brands Inc., the majority of which were illegal burning but other violations included trackout issues, improper applying of control measures and visual emissions beyond the property line.
About Maricopa County Air Quality Department
The mission of the Maricopa County Air Quality Department is to improve the air of Maricopa County so customers, residents and visitors can live, work and play in a healthy environment. The department is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act.
The department offers air quality information and resources on its Clean Air Make More website. Visit CleanAirMakeMore.com to learn more.
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